Amsterdam Plans to Ban All Non-Electric Vehicles by 2030
"Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam," Amsterdam Traffic Councillor Sharon Dijksma said, explaining the decision.
Despite its bicycle culture, the Netherlands has air pollution levels that exceed EU safety rules, mostly because of traffic in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Dijksma said that air pollution in the city shortens lifespans by more than a year, Dutch News reported.
The plan will be implemented in stages, as The Guardian reported.
1. By 2020, diesel cars more than 15 years old will be banned from the area within the A10 ring road surrounding the capital.
2. By 2022, public buses and coaches that emit exhaust will be banned from the city center.
3. By 2025, exhaust-emitting boats, mopeds and light mopeds will also be banned.
4. By 2030, all traffic must be emission free.
The plan's success will also require the city to increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations from 3,000 to 16,000 to 23,000 by 2025. The council hopes to encourage residents to switch to electric or hydrogen cars by offering subsidies and parking permits, according to Reuters.
Climate activists praised the plan for its ambition.
"The banning of petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes can be done because Amsterdam is doing it. If they can do it then your city should be able to also," Extinction Rebellion tweeted.
The banning of petrol and diesel cars and motorbikes can be done because Amsterdam is doing it. If they can do it t… https://t.co/2d0Z6ZsUoB— Extinction Rebellion (@Extinction Rebellion)1556910691.0
However, not everyone is pleased with the plan.
"Many tens of thousands of families who have no money for an electric car will soon be left out in the cold. That makes Amsterdam a city of the rich," automotive lobby group the Rai Association said, according to The Guardian. "In 2030, about one third of the cars will be electric, we expect. But there will also be a lot of people who won't be able to afford that by then."
But Eindhoven University of Technology Prof. Maarten Steinbuch was more optimistic, pointing out that electric cars were getting cheaper and were already less expensive to maintain than fossil-fuel powered cars.
"We've still got 11 years," he told broadcaster NOS. according to Dutch News.
The plan still needs the approval of the entire Amsterdam city council, and must first pass through a public comment period, Dutch News explained.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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